Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why Worry Wednesday - Bagging Up Your Books

Reduce, Recycle and Repurpose. Reduce your stuff and commit to stop purchasing anything for your home that you don't need or love. If you love it on site, then know where you will keep it! One-time use items such as books and impulse buying results in junk drawers and shelves full of clutter. Don't buy it in the first place!
Donate the extra things in your life and recycle what you can't give away.

Purging books, magazines, movies and other multi-media...

Even if you don't think you have many books lying around, just take a minute to try and collect them all, along with any magazines and catalogs. You may be surprised at the stacks!
BOOKS: Why do people hang on to books and magazines they have already read? Why do people buy more books when they have 20 at home unread?

MY STORY: I grew up with books everywhere in our house. My mother read, my grandparents read - I read. We had books everywhere! I kept all my books growing up and moved them every time I had to move. Boxes and boxes and more HEAVY boxes. Then a miracle happened. I read an article about the love of books and the people who love them. (Sounds cheesy right?) The article said that people who love books, just like me, tend to hoard their books, never to share with others. Why? Books are not irreplaceable. Even out of print books can be found through eBay and other Internet sources. Books are stories that are meant to be shared..why not pass the stories (books) onto to others? This hit me like a ton of books (sorry!) Why should I keep 500 paperback books that I will never to read again? This article gave me permission to release my books and, literally, the weight of the books was lifted off my mind (and my sagging bookshelves!) It took me a while to go through and pare down to the few I couldn't bare to part with, but now my books shelves contain books that are 1) My favorites 2) Non-fiction/reference 3) Biographies of people that inspire me or 4) valuable/rare.

Your assignment is to gather ALL your books. The paperbacks by the bed, the reference books in your office, even the hardback Stephen King's you've been collecting for years. Pull out the ones you read over and over and can't bare to part with, keep it under one shelf-full. Pull out any reference or guide book that you have read or used for reference MORE THAN ONCE. (That bird-watching book you bought four years ago can go if you aren't an avid bird-watcher by now!) Pull any sentimental books - such as the Book of Etiquette that belonged to your grandmother or that is valuable, like an original Gone With The Wind. If you have books you have not read yet, pull out the ones that still interest you and pass on the others.

TIP: Everything you keep should fit in ONE space, not in several all over the house. The only exception could be books you use in your office only and your children's books. Create a space dedicated to your children's books. Allow them the opportunity to learn to love books by having them sit in this designated area to read. It will keep the books from getting torn or colored in. Also, don't add do-dads to your book shelves. They just get in the way, collect dust and, well, get in the way. From now on, when you buy new books, pass them along or donate them as soon as you are finished. Share the stories, don't hoard them!

Paperbacks aren't valuable, will get musty and don't travel well. Hardback books, even best selling fictions are rarely valuable, heavy to move and take up alot of space. So what did I do with my books? Some went to eBay, others to the women's shelters, the best went to the library, a few (hundred) went in the yard sale. I tend not to buy hardbacks anymore. Instead I borrow from the library, buy the paperback version and have quarterly book swaps (click HERE for more info.) My book shelves are orderly, full of books that are often USED, and if I do buy a new book, I have plenty of space for it.

$ TIP - is a fast, SUPER easy way to get money for your books. Just search their website to see if they have your book listed, print a pre-paid mailing label from your own printer, package them up and drop the box off at the post office- once they get and inspect your books, they mail you a check - easy as that! My first check was $41 for 6 books!

Wednesdays in the Simple Life Series are for YOUR CLUTTER (and yes, it multiplies in my home too). I will let you know what I am doing to make simple changes in my own home to clear out my clutter. I hope you follow along and try some of these steps yourself. Please let me know how you are coming along by leaving comments at the bottom of each post. Tell me what works, what doesn’t, if you are bored – whatever – we are learning and growing together.

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